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16 DEC, 2013
Bahrain: Attack on Freedom of Expression Continues as AlSalman is Charged after Press Conference
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses grave concern in regards to the continued targeting of freedom of expression and religious freedom by authorities in Bahrain. Maytham AlSalman, the Head of Religious Freedom section at the Bahrain Human Rights Observatory, was summoned following a press conference about religious freedom violations during Ashoura. AlSalman was accused of inciting hatred against the regime and calling for an unlawful gathering.
On 18 November 2013, a press conference was held at the Bahrain Transparency Society that highlighted violations against religious freedom committed by the authorities during the month of Muharram; a religious month when Shia muslims commemorate the killing of the Prophet's grandson.
Following the conference, Maytham AlSalman, Head of the Religious Freedom Section in BHRO, was summoned by the Ministry of Interior for interrogation. The interrogation was focused on three charges brought against AlSalman: inciting hatred against the regime, insulting a governmental body and calling for an unauthorized assembly. AlSalman was released pending trial.
AlSalman has been active in reporting locally and internationally on the attacks on religious freedoms. Last June he communicated a full report on these attacks to the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.
The authorities in Bahrain continued to use sectarianism as a tool by attacking Shia religious rituals, processions and matams (Shia religious centers). Many pictures and videos were disseminated through social media of religious processions and Shia religious centers getting attacked and tear gased resulting in injuries and suffocation of children and elderly commemorating the "killing of Imam Hussain" (More details: http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/6565). Following these events the BCHR documented at least 30 summons of religious clerics, religious singers and organizers of matams who were called for interrogation on issues related to freedom of expression (Read more:http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/6613).
The BCHR believes that the summoning of AlSalman is part of the authorities attack on freedom of expression and religious freedom which has escalated in the month of Muharram in an attempt by authorities to provoke sectarian tensions.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and other allies and international institutions to pressure the Bahraini authorities to:
Immediately release all persons who are detained for practicing their right to freedom of speech and expression in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and drop all charges against them.Repeal the laws that criminalize the peaceful exercise to the right to freedom of expression, in line with Bahrain’s obligations under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.Guarantee the right to religious freedom and practice for all in Bahrain, immediately end targeting based on sect.
Calling for political reform in Saudi Arabia is now considered terrorism, according to a new law which came into effect today.
Friends. Many Pakistanis ask why it is only now, 42 years after the Genocide in Bangladesh by the Pakistan Army that war crimes trials have taken place and collaborators of the Pakistan Army are being convicted, including Abdul Quader Molla who was...
Amnesty International has slammed Bahraini authorities for torturing children, some as young as 13 years old, who had been arrested for allegedly participating in anti-regime protests across the Persian Gulf kingdom.
“By rounding up suspected under-age offenders and locking them up, Bahrain’s authorities are displaying an appalling disregard for its international human rights obligations,” the organization said in a statement released on Sunday.
Referring to ongoing crackdown of the Al Khalifa regime on pro-democracy protesters, the statement noted that “Nearly three years after Bahrain’s security forces used excessive force to crush anti-government protests, they now appear to be targeting children in an intensified crackdown.”
“All children under the age of 18 who have not committed any recognizable offence must be released immediately. Any allegations of torture and ill-treatment must be thoroughly investigated.”
The statement also condemns Bahrain for harsh jail terms on children, saying, “Bahrain’s government purports to respect human rights yet it is brazenly flouting international obligations on a routine basis by resorting to extreme measures such as imposing harsh prison sentences on children.”...
Bahraini people have held massive protest rallies across the country to show their solidarity with those killed or arrested during the uprising against the ruling Al Khalifa regime.
According to reports, anti-regime protesters took to the streets in the country’s northeastern island of Sitra and the western village of Shahrakan on Thursday, calling on the Manama regime to step down.
In a similar move, Bahraini demonstrators staged a rally, dubbed “our nation declared unity,” in Jidd Hafs, a western suburb of the capital, Manama....
Please support this LabourStart urgent action campaign and spread the word.
On 23 November 2013, Mr Hussain Jawad was arrested on charges of “inciting hatred against the regime”. He was arrested while lodging a complaint regarding a defamation campaign against a number of human rights activists in Bahrain. Hussain Jawad remains in custody in Dry Dock prison.
Hussain Jawad is Chairman of European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights(EBOHR), an international organisation that works to defend human rights across the Middle East. Hussain Jawad has publicly called for a peaceful struggle to demand democracy in Bahrain.
On 22 November 2013, a number of prominent Bahraini activists were accused in the press of, inter alia, arming opposition militant factions, inciting xenophobic violence, and propagating sectarian discrimination. The state press has engaged in this defamatory media campaign in an attempt to denigrate Bahraini human rights defenders, and EBOHR has accused other organisations of this tactic; namely, Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society, Karama Human Rights Society, and The European-Gulf Centre of Human Rights.
On 23 November 2013, Hussain Jawad went to the Central Province Centre to file a complaint against these media organisations and the Chief Editor of Gulf News, Mr Anwar Abdul Rahman. The Gulf News newspaper has published pictures of human rights defenders as part of this smear campaign.
While at the Central Province Centre, Hussain Jawad was notified that a police patrol was on its way from Naeem Police Station to arrest him. Two police officers in civilian clothing arrived and attempted to handcuff Hussain Jawad. Initially, Hussain Jawad refused to be handcuffed, but after some discussion, he agreed and was escorted to Naeem Police Station to be questioned in the presence of his lawyer, Mr Saeed Sarhan. The interrogation related to charges of “inciting hatred against the regime” in light of a speech he delivered during Ashura season in Manama. Hussain Jawad was later transferred to Hoora Police Station, where he remained in detention overnight.
On 24 November 2013, the Public Prosecutor ordered that Hussan Jawad remain in custody for fifteen days pending further investigation. Currently, Hussain Jawad is being held in Dry Dock prison, the Ministry of Interior's Short-Term Detention Unit in northern Bahrain.
The BCHR launched a campaign called "Wanted for Justice" from Nov. 1 to Nov. 23, which has involved publishing the names and photos of people responsible for human rights violations in Bahrain. Many of these offenses have gone unpunished. What we want is simple: We want their crimes to be known internationally, and the perpetrators must be held accountable and given fair trials.
We've listed 59 people in our report. The allegations range from torturing protesters to arbitrary arrests. The list covers lower level police officers, to Bahrain's King Hamad himself.
Despite promises of reform and the government-commissioned Bahrain Independent Commission for Inquiry (BICI) report, the situation on the ground is still grim. Human rights violations will only continue as long as those responsible for carrying out torture go unpunished. ...
Every day, millions of children in India wake up with nothing to look forward to except hours of back-breaking labour working everywhere from stone quarries to carpet factories to rice mills. Children as young as 5 years-old are kept from school, forced to work 7 days a week for up to 18 hours a day and end up with crippling injuries, respiratory disorders and chronic pain.
Because these children are often left illiterate and plagued with health problems, they are - in a cruel twist of fate - less likely to find employment once they reach adulthood. This continued enslavement of children traps generations of Indians in a vicious cycle of slavery, illiteracy and poverty.
Thankfully, the Indian Parliament is considering legislation called the "Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill," which:
This legislation would put an end to the enslavement of children in India but it risks not passing without a demonstration of mass public support.
For every day the bill is delayed, several children remain at risk of being bought and sold to work in unimaginable conditions of sex slavery, bonded labour and domestic servitude. Any further delay in the passage of this historic law ending the enslavement of children in their country is simply unacceptable and we need to build massive public pressure that leaders in India cannot ignore.
Call on the Indian Parliament to immediately pass the Child and Adolescent Labour Abolition Bill and end child slavery in India.
In 2011 Reda al-Fardan watched in horror as Bahraini troops plowed down protestors camped at a Manama roundabout. Now he is among Shiite activists urging greater pressure on the monarchy to implement long-promised reforms.
“It’s a moral choice,” Fardan said, after meeting in Washington with top Obama aide Susan Rice to urge the United States to throw its weight behind activists.
His NGO, Bahrain Watch, is calling for a transparent, accountable government in the nation ruled by the Sunni Khalifa dynasty since the late 18th century, amid fears of a dangerous and growing sectarian divide.
Fardan, 29, grew up in the western Shiite coastal village of Karzakan, and witnessed how the tumult caused by the Arab spring unleashed decades of anger against failure to introduce democratic reforms.
Protests launched on February 14, 2011 led to the Manama sit-in, where Fardan saw Bahraini troops first unleash rubber bullets and tear gas, and followed a few weeks later by Saudi tanks.
“We all know that the government is ruthless and brutal, but seeing it first hand, just each day you see this again and again… things become emotional.”
Around 90 people have died in the protests which have now simmered for almost three years, and about 2,500 people are believed to remain in jail.
Bahrain Watch is leading a campaign called “Stop the Shipment” amid fears a South Korean company, DaeKwang Chemical, is considering supplying some 1.6 million rounds of tear gas to Bahrain — more than the island’s entire 1.2 million population.
Nabeel Rajab, the head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and Deputy Secretary General of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), who is in custody in Bahrain, sends his Belarusian counterpart on the International board of FIDH, political prisoner Ales Bialiatski words of solidarity.
On 2 December, the day when the court denied his request for early release (for which he has the right under national legislation, as he has served more than three-quarters of the term), Nabeel was able to call from the Bahraini prisons “Jaw” to the International Secretariat FIDH and convey that he is very worried about the fate of Alesi Bialiatski. According to Nabeel, the first thing he would like to do on his release from jail is to meet with the family and the colleagues of Ales as “their problem is my problem”.
Nabeel Rajab passed these words to the worker of the Paris FIDH Bureau Sasha Kulaeva. In a brief telephone conversation, he asked about the health and the conditions of detention of Ales Bialiatski, his family and colleagues from the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, and passsed the words of support to all of them.
As pointed out by Sasha Kulaeva, from the first days of detention of Ales Bialiatski Nabeel Rajab actively defended the Vice President of FIDH and leader of “Viasna”. Since the arrest of Ales Bialiatski, a T-shirt with the inscription “Freedom for Ales Bialiatski” and his portrait hung in his office.
At least 20.9 million people live in modern-day slavery in the year 2012. It's not legal anywhere, but it's happening everywhere. Let's do something about it. Check out Walk Free, and add your name with mine!
للإشتراك في واتساب دقيقة بحرينية : +17205228858
Yes, Nabeel Reajab has a great wealth the 'king' of Bahrain and his minions will never have. Nabeel has his sanity, his conscience, his reason, and the the love of the World!
The GCHR is gravely concerned that the Saudi authorities continue, under the direct orders of senior officials within the Ministry of Interior, to systemically target human rights defenders using false or fabricated charges. Furthermore, the judiciary is being used to issue unfair judgments against human rights defenders in order to stop their peaceful and legitimate work in the field of human rights.
The following recent cases illustrate the campaign of intimidation and harassment against human rights defenders. ....
Soon after the popular uprising began in Bahrain in 2011, 13 opposition leaders were arrested. Their ‘crime’ was expressing their opinions peacefully: calling for democracy, an end to corruption, opposing the monarchy.
After an unfair trial the men were sentenced to between five years and life in prison. Some say they were tortured, and all are prisoners of conscience. Farida Ghulam, wife of imprisoned opposition leader Ebrahim Sharif, told Amnesty International their story....
An activist - imprisoned in Iran - has been routinely denied medical care for a serious heart condition. He has also allegedly been subjected to torture and other ill treatment. Sign this petition and demand his immediate and unconditional release.
Human Rights First ( went to Bahrain to document human rights abuses committed by the repressive Bahrain monarchy. Brian Dooley, Director, Human Rights Defenders Program, talks to human rights def...
This is from the summer of 2011, but anything from Zainab AlKhawaja is GREAT!
Bahrain’s main opposition group, al-Wefaq, says Bahraini forces have arrested at least 82 people over the past month as the Al Khalifa regime steps up its crackdown on dissent.
In a report released on Wednesday, the Liberties and Civil Rights Unit of al-Wefaq National Islamic Society also said that women and children were among those arrested in November.
The regime forces also raided 125 houses during the mentioned period, it said, adding that several people were tortured by the forces.
“There has been a continued deterioration in the general human rights situation, focusing on arbitrary arrests, house raids and other violations that the country has experienced regularly for 3 years,” the report noted.
The Al Kahlifa regime is under fire for its brutal crackdown on rights activists and pro-democracy protesters....
Even in exile, with members of her family incarcerated, the 26-year-old Bahraini activist is optimistic about her country's pro-democracy movement - and she's traveling the world to push it forward.
Weatherby travelled to Bahrain in 2010 and 2011 to observe trials on behalf of the Bar Human Rights Committee. He is a member of the group's executive committee.
Almarzooq was arrested in September after he made a speech critical of the government at a political rally attended by nearly 6,000 people near the village of Saar. He was charged with inciting youth violence and trying to overthrow the government.
Amnesty International called for him to be "immediately and unconditionally released".
"His arrest is yet another blow to the National Dialogue which the Bahraini authorities have been flaunting as a reason to cancel the visit of the UN expert on torture to the country. However harsh his speech towards the authorities, he should not have been arrested for expressing his views," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa deputy director at Amnesty International.
Wefaq said the refusal to allow Weatherby into the tiny Gulf island was "unjustified and unacceptable".
"We view this incident as a clear indicator that the authorities have something to hide from the international community," it said.
"Given that he was allowed entry to Bahrain in the past, it is also shows the lack of progress over reform and in fact the deterioration in the human rights situation."...
..."The talks are an opportunity to press the human rights case. The international community urgently needs to press for a moratorium on executions and encourage the relevant Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council to seek invitations for the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, to visit Iran.
"Sustainable peace and stability in Iran and the Middle East can not be achieved as long as Iranian people’s human rights are not secured."
While the latest round of P5+1 talks was taking place in Geneva from mid-October, IHR has documented 90 executions. Fifty of these were carried out in ethnic areas of Iran or were members of ethnic minorities executed in central parts of the country. They included three Kurdish and 17 Balochi prisoners convicted of Moharebeh, enmity with God, which is a charge commonly used against opponents of the government.
Many other non-Persian political prisoners are also facing imminent execution, including three Ahwazi Arabs who gave forced confessions on the government’s Press TV channel allegedly following months of torture in the custody of the intelligence services.
Religious minorities also continued to suffer violent persecution while the world concentrated on talks over the nuclear issue. Following raids on 14 Baha’i homes in the Iranian city of Abadeh in October, residents were interrogated by government agents who told them to leave town or face being summoned the occupants for questioning and told them to leave town or they would be knifed to death in the street.
Christians, Alawites and Sunnis are also subjected to continued persecution and state violence in spite of President Rouhani’s pledge to allow greater freedom of worship.
Qadeer Baloch, known as Mama Qadeer is Vice Chairman of Voice for Baloch Missing Person (VBMP), a non-governmental organization striving for the safe recovery of Baloch missing persons. Mama Qadeer recently launched an historic long march from Quetta to Karachi and marched some 750 kilometers with the family members of 20 missing persons. The long march started on 27 October and reached its destination Karachi Press Club on November 22, 2013. The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons(VBMP) claims disappearance of some 18000 Baloch from different walks of life, and 1000 of them have been “Killed and dumped.” Mama Qadeer‘s son Jalil Reiki, information secretary of Baloch Republican Party, was abducted on February 14, 2009 in Quetta , allegedly by secret state agencies and his bullet riddled body was dumped in the Aap Sar area of Turbat on November 24, 2011.....
A news agency investigation says Thai officials have been secretly allowing Rohingya Muslim refugees to be dumped off to human traffickers, who hold them for ransom under brutal conditions.The report by the Reuters news agency said Thai immigration officials were often complicit in the policy toward the Rohingya, who are escaping unrest and religious persecution in neighboring Burma.It said many of the refugees were told by officials they were being deported back to Burma. Only after they were out at sea, did they realize they had been sold to human traffickers.The survivors say they were then sent to camps along Thailand's remote border with Malaysia. Many were said to be beaten, and some even killed. They were only allowed to leave if their relatives paid thousands of dollars in ransom....
Al Wefaq National Islamic Society said no information has been released in the past 5 days on the conditions of a number of prisoners in Juw prison, including Sheikh Mohammed Ali Al Mahfoodh, the Secretary-General of the Islamic Action Society.
This is despite news that has been circulating on the mistreatment of the prisoners in the prison and that two of the prisoners are wounded. However, the families of the prisoners have not received any phone calls from the prison.
Al Wefaq has sent an urgent appeal to the Special Procedures Division in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the situation of the prisoners in Juw prison.
The Authority in Bahrain is fully responsible for the safety of the prisoners who are facing vengeful measures by denying them their fundamental human rights, Al Wefaq stated. Shockingly, state institutions and foundations concerned for human rights such as the Ombudsman Office, the National Institution for Human Rights, the General Inspector, Public Prosecution Office and Ministry of Human Rights all remain silent towards this situation.
Al Wefaq also notes the Interior Ministry’s silence, even though it is the body responsible for the administration of prisons, stressing that such practices are illegal and considered a serious violation of the rights of the prisoners.
Slavery is rampant and most people are likely to have met a slave without realising it, ....
“The common denominator of all these crimes is the evil intention to strip a human being of their freedom and then to use and abuse them, control and exploit them. One can think that slavery belongs to the history books, but far from that, it’s worse today than ever in history.”....